Top Legislative Priorities
Congress should repeal the outdated 12% federal excise tax (FET) imposed on new heavy-duty trucks to accelerate turnover of America’s aging truck fleet, which will lead to cleaner, safer trucks on the road. First enacted in 1917 to help fund World War I, this tax routinely adds $22,000 or more to the price of a new heavy-duty truck. The FET is levied in addition to the nearly $40,000 per truck cost due to recent federal emissions and fuel-economy mandates. While new trucks have made significant environmental gains, such as reducing nitrous oxide emissions by 97% and particulate matter emissions by 98%, the FET remains a costly barrier to the purchase of new trucks equipped with the latest environmental technologies. With more than half of the Class 8 trucks on the road today over 10 years old, FET repeal would immediately benefit the environment by incentivizing the replacement of older trucks with cleaner and more fuel-efficient trucks. Additionally, the FET can add more than $50,000 to the price of an electric or hydrogen fuel-cell truck, and these vehicles are already more than twice the price of internal combustion engine trucks.
Bills to repeal the FET have been introduced in the House (H.R. 8116) by Reps. LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Pappas (D-N.H.), and in the Senate (S. 2435) by Sens. Young (R-Ind.) and Cardin (D-Md.). ATD and Modernize the Truck Fleet, an industry coalition, are working to identify viable alternative funding options to replace this burdensome tax with a more consistent and equitable revenue source to fund the Highway Trust Fund. Congress should repeal the FET to protect U.S. jobs, replace older trucks with newer, greener trucks and promote the adoption of advanced technology trucks.
Catalytic converters are being stolen at increasingly higher rates due to their valuable metals, such as rhodium, platinum and palladium. Thefts reported in insurance company claims have sharply increased over the past three years, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that these thefts increased by 326% in 2020 and increased another 353% in 2021. Gas-powered medium-duty trucks are often targeted by thieves, as many of these vehicles have catalytic converters which can be easily accessed, and since catalytic converters are not readily traceable there is a lucrative market for these stolen parts. These thefts are costing millions of dollars to businesses and individual vehicle owners alike. H.R. 6394, the “Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act” (PART Act) would assist law enforcement in their efforts to combat this crime by providing a national framework that would mark catalytic converters, establish federal criminal penalties, and create a more transparent market that deters its theft. In conjunction with National Police Week, NADA and 14 other trade associations, including ATD, sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership in support of the PART Act. Members of Congress are urged to cosponsor H.R. 6394 to address the growing national problem of catalytic converter theft.
Advocates for “right to repair” legislation claim that independent automotive repair shops do not have access to the parts or data necessary to repair vehicles. However, this concern was rectified years ago, and today the information independent shops need to repair vehicles is readily available from every truck manufacturer. Unlike previous “right to repair” bills, this legislation (H.R. 6570) has little to do with repairing a vehicle. Instead, the main purpose of the bill is to compel truck or auto manufacturers to provide any “aftermarket parts manufacturer” the information necessary “to produce or offer compatible aftermarket parts,” i.e., parts not made by the truck or auto manufacturer. This legislation would also give any third party unfettered access to data from vehicles, which raises numerous privacy, vehicle security, and safety concerns. Members of Congress should oppose H.R. 6570.
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NADA Legislative Affairs Staff
About Legislative Affairs
Learn how NADA Legislative Affairs protects and promotes franchised auto and truck dealerships' interests before Congress. Find the latest legislation affecting the automotive retail industry, including issues such as auto finance, tax policy, vehicle commerce, fuel economy and the environment, as well as grassroots.